2015 Ford C-Max Energi Review

Pros & Cons

  • High fuel economy
  • decent electric-only range
  • stylish and well-made interior
  • refined handling and ride dynamics
  • quick acceleration
  • abundant features list
  • elevated driving position.
  • Considerably more expensive than regular C-Max
  • lacks useful cargo space for its size
  • MyFord Touch interface can be finicky to use
  • stiffer ride than some rivals.
Other years
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$9,995 - $12,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid provides a desirable mix of fuel economy, electric-only range, utility and refinement. Depending on your priorities, though, competitors might work out better.

Vehicle overview

If electric-only range anxiety gives you pause while shopping for a car and if standard hybrids just don't seem efficient enough, there's a small niche of plug-in hybrid vehicles that may serve your needs. The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is one such plug-in hybrid, with the ability to travel about 20 miles on electricity before it needs gasoline. While that's not a whole lot of range, it could prove to be enough for many city dwellers with a short commute and a place at home to recharge.

Much like the standard C-Max Hybrid, the Energi is powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor. However, the Energi is equipped with a larger battery pack that can also be recharged from an outside power source. This contributes to an EPA-estimated 88 MPGe figure, as well as 38 mpg combined when the all-electric range is depleted.

Most hybrids are designed to be efficient, so high mileage shouldn't be surprising. The C-Max Energi's driving personality, however, is a bit rare. The Edmunds "B" rated C-Max Energi feels better on the road than almost all its similarly priced and sized rivals. Cars like the Toyota Prius are less refined and feel less substantial and connected to the road. The Ford actually has a bit of pep in its step, and even if ride quality is a bit firmer as a result, we think it's a small trade-off definitely worth making.

Aside from the ride quality, there are a few notable drawbacks to the 2015 C-Max Energi. Combined mileage is actually lower than the standard C-Max hybrid with a higher starting price, so the Energi is only the smart choice if you've got a short commute around town. The large battery in the rear also has a significant impact on cargo space, compromising much of this hatchback's versatility. Nearly all non-plug-in rivals will have considerably more storage space -- up to 20 cubic feet more in some cases. And while we like the rest of the interior for its stylish design and high-quality materials, the MyFord Touch electronic interface can be difficult to use.

Plug-in hybrids still make up a very small percentage of available vehicles, but there are still a few competitors worth checking out. The 2015 Chevrolet Volt has double the electric-only range of the C-Max Energi, and the Toyota Prius Plug-In is more efficient. Sedans such as the 2015 Ford Fusion Energi and the Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid give you a more traditional-looking body style. Whatever you put it up against, though, we think the 2015 C-Max Energi will definitely be worth your time if you're shopping for a plug-in hybrid.

2015 Ford C-Max Energi models

The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is a five-passenger plug-in hybrid hatchback/wagon available in a single SEL trim level. The non-plug-in Ford C-Max Hybrid is reviewed separately.

Standard equipment on the Energi includes 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, integrated blind-spot mirrors, automatic headlights and wipers, foglamps, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition and entry, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with two-way power lumbar) and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat. Electronic features include the Sync voice-activated electronics interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch touchscreen display with the MyFord Touch interface, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The C-Max Energi's options are bundled together in ascending packages: 301A, 302A and 303A. All add a navigation system and a nine-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio and a second USB port. On top of that, 302A adds a rearview camera and an enhanced power liftgate that allows you to open it simply by swiping your foot under the bumper. The 303A includes all of the above plus front parking sensors and an automatic parallel parking system.

A panoramic fixed glass roof is a stand-alone option.

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi carries over unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine generating 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an electric motor fed by a 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, they send a total of 188 hp to the front wheels.

The battery pack is considerably larger than the one in the standard C-Max Hybrid, which allows the Energi to travel up to 19 miles purely on electric power. Using a 240-volt charging station, fully recharging the pack only takes about 2.5 hours, but a standard 120-volt wall outlet extends that time to at least 5 hours.

In Edmunds testing, a C-Max Energi accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which is a quick time for a hybrid, plug-in or otherwise, and a slightly quicker result than the C-Max Hybrid.

Once the C-Max Energi's pure-electric range is used up, it operates like the standard C-Max Hybrid. The official EPA combined fuel economy estimate stands at 38 mpg.


The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Also standard are 911 Assist, which when paired to your smartphone can automatically call for emergency services in case of airbag deployment; and MyKey, which allows owners to set certain speed and stereo volume parameters for valets or teen drivers. Rear parking sensors are standard, and front parking sensors and a rearview camera are optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, the C-Max Energi came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, which is a bit longer than average for its segment.

In government crash tests, the C-Max Energi received four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. The standard C-Max Hybrid received the best possible rating of "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-crash and roof-strength tests, as well as a "Good" rating for its seat and head restraint design for whiplash protection in rear impacts. The C-Max Hybrid received the second-highest score of "Acceptable" in the IIHS's small-overlap frontal-offset test.


Like other recent Fords, the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi feels like a more expensive European car in the way it drives. While that ride isn't exactly cushy, there's a substantial feel to the way the C-Max goes down the road. The cabin is also notably quiet, especially compared to the Prius, and the communicative steering is another strong point. The Energi is stable through turns, though the weight of the bigger battery pack makes the vehicle a bit less nimble compared to the regular C-Max. Braking at low speeds feels far more natural in the C-Max Energi, without the odd, grabby pedal action that's common with the energy-recovering braking systems in many hybrids.

The C-Max's plug-in system is worthy of praise as well. Besides the genuinely useful electric-only range and impressive fuel economy, the Energi's big battery pack extends the hatchback's range to more than 500 miles. Or, if it's spirited acceleration you want, the C-Max happily obliges. Acceleration is strong for a hybrid, and even highway passing isn't the weak-kneed chore normally associated with hybrids.


The C-Max's Energi's cabin will feel familiar if you've driven a Focus or Escape, which is a very good thing since these cars all incorporate top-notch materials, solid construction and eye-catching design. The supportive, high-mounted driver seat gives you a slightly more commanding view of the road than you'll get in most wagons and hatchbacks.

Unfortunately, the C-Max Energi also shares its finicky infotainment interface with its Ford siblings. The MyFord Touch interface remains an imperfect and generally counterintuitive means of controlling the car's many functions. On the positive side, the combination of MyFord Touch and the Sync voice control system does allow for useful hands-free operation and various display customization possibilities. You'll certainly want to spend some time with the system during your test-drive to make sure you're OK with MyFord Touch's learning curve.

A more significant downside is the C-Max's cargo capacity. The space needed for the Energi's battery pack beneath the floor of the cargo area reduces the capacity of the rear compartment, which is already fairly narrow. As a result, there are just 19.2 cubic feet available behind the rear seats -- more than the Volt, but less than the Prius.

Lowering the seats opens up 42.8 cubic feet, which is more than 20 cubic feet shy of a Prius V or a typical small crossover SUV. Worse, the load floor isn't flat when the seats are folded, as the battery pack creates a high shelf behind the rear seats that sits about a foot higher than the load floor.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Surprisingly good vehicle
SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Sept. 2019: this is an update my earlier reviews. I purchased the car new in Aug 2015. I don't have a lot of miles on it,only 55,000. The car continues to perform well and very reliable. I have not had any mechanical issues at all. Maintenance cost is very low. I am puzzled why Ford decided to discontinue this model. I especially like the hybrid electric plug-in because it saves on gas.
Give it a Test Drive, 2015 Ford C-Max Energi
SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I own a 2015 Ford C-Max Energi, it now has 20,000 miles. The C-Max only needs one oil change per 10,000 miles that cost around $40. Rides and handles good with peppy acceleration. The power adjustable leather driver’s seat is super comfortable. The dealer convinced me to buy the premium extended warrantee because it’s a $32,000 car. But some of us in CA get $10,000 in credits so the C-Max Energi only cost me $22,000. So for driving comfort, handling and reliability I give it 5 stars. The only thing I dislike is the NAV and clunky radio interface. In the 2017 models they have a better system. I looked at the Nissan Leaf, low range and lower crash test. The Chev Volt is more of a sports car, low to the ground and only seats 4, the 2017 seats 5 if your passengers are small. The C-Max is higher like a Honda CRV and has lots of head room for tall people. Short people will like that driver’s seat will adjust way up. The backup camera works good and it’s nice to be able to swing your foot to open the power lift gate. The key fob is big but it never needs to leave your pocket or purse. The trunk space is small but you be amazed at what you can fit in the C-Max. I can fit 2 adults, 3 kids, large cooler with drinks and snacks, 5 folding beach chairs, 1 beach tent and umbrella, 5 beach towels and 3 foam boogie boards. The C-Max Energi is only cost effective if you get good rebates and have cheap electricity under .15 per Kilowatt. Otherwise your better off just buying a C-Max Hybrid or Fusion Hybrid. I use one tank of gas per month at $33. I plug-in whenever the car is in the driveway so I can do all my local driving using the electricity from the solar system. I was getting ripped off and paying .40 kwh, but now I have solar so it’s about .09 kwh. I also installed the 220V charger so it only takes 2.5 hours for a full charge. I can go 18-22 miles on only electric. The yearly cost for 15,000 miles, based on $2.60 for gas and .15 kwh, 60% Highway & 40% Local is about $800 for gas and electricity for the C-Max Energy. The cost for the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid is about $1000 per year. My fuel cost using Solar is about $396 for Gas and $240 for electric, or $640 per year.
Too nice of a car not to sell in higher volumes
SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I've been scratching my head for the last year (that's how long I've owned my C-Max Energi) as to why Ford doesn't market this car (the regular Hybrid and the plug-in) against the hot-segment "subcompact SUV's" where it is essentially the same size (though different styling), and is cost-competitive (with the continuous incentives) while being so much better in so many ways - quieter, much better passing/merging power, much better mileage, higher-quality interior, better visibility, etc...My spouse has the Subaru XV Crosstrek, one of the more popular subcompact SUV's and while it's a nice car that we like, my C-Max Energi is better in almost every respect, even though I paid thousands less (after tax credit and incentives) than my spouse paid. Other than the lack of all-wheel drive (which I don't care about) and the XV Crosstrek's higher ground clearance, the Subaru has essentially no advantages even though it costs more. By the way, the exterior dimensions of the two cars are within about an inch or so on length/width/height, and my perception is that the C-Max has a higher ride-height for the driver than the Crosstrek, though that may just be my perception. I think only marketing the car as a Prius alternative (when they market it at all) has severely hurt the C-Max sales, since the C-Max will clearly not win purely on MPG; but it is such a better car in every other way that it's a shame they don't do more to broaden the appeal/category. Even letting it be pegged as a hatch-back/wagon hurts it since it really could fit into a few different categories (my view). Anyway, as someone who years ago swore I would NEVER own another Ford, I've been very pleased with my C-Max Energy. I would also like to say the Sync / MyFord Touch system gets a bad rap; as I've driven many different brands with their proprietary systems and Ford's is fine - certainly no worse than any of the others I've used, and because there are redundant ways to do everything if you don't like one way to do something, you have other options. I understand that the early versions of Ford's system (before most other brands had their own) had issues, the grudge in the auto press seems entirely unwarranted based on my experience. I hope Ford finds a way to keep this car going because it's a joy to drive and own. I was not interested in a hybrid when I started car-shopping, but bought it because of everything else it offered (and at a lower price) than the cars I was shopping it against it. I likely would not have considered it without all of the incentives it had, but have been very happy I landed on this car.
Why doesn't Ford advertise the C-Max more?
SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I love my C-Max energi. I use the 120 volt powercord that came with the vehicle and get the full 5.5 kWh charge in 7 hours for about $.60. That charge carries me 15-20 miles, depending on conditions. Because I do mostly city driving with daily recharging, I get 67 mpg overall. This average is based on 6 months of daily use. Before I got the C-Max, I had a MINI Cooper. It was nice and sporty, but my daughters had outgrown it. We are a tall family, and all 4 of us are comfortably spread out in the C-Max. The kids like the color-changing "disco lights" in the footweels when we drive at night. The one problem is cargo space, buy hey, I bought this car for commuting--not road trips. I love the controls, the quiet drive and the stereo. The GPS can be a little difficult to program, however. I like the back-up camera, but find it difficult to gauge how close I am to another car on the front end. The curved drop off of the front fender makes it hard to determine how much space lies in front of the vehicle. This is such a great car! I've owned two BMW's, a Saab, a few VW's and let me tell you: the Ford C-max is NICER than all the other cars! Ford hit a home run, as far as this environmentally conscious family is concerned. And it's made in DETROIT!!!! My only complaint is that Ford is not bragging and advertising more. Every American family should own a C-Max. It really is that good.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%

More about the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi

Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi Overview

The Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is offered in the following submodels: C-Max Energi Wagon. Available styles include SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi SEL is priced between $9,995 and$12,990 with odometer readings between 35774 and87365 miles.

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Which used 2015 Ford C-Max Energis are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Ford C-Max Energi for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2015 C-Max Energis listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $9,995 and mileage as low as 35774 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Ford C-Max Energi.

Can't find a used 2015 Ford C-Max Energis you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford C-Max Energi for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $20,212.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Ford C-Max Energi for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,366.

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Ford C-Max Energi?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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